For Victorinox, the maker of the small but mighty Swiss Army Knife, we carved out not just one but a whole series of social media strategies. Through our ongoing partnership, we’ve been helping our client create original content that grabs attention, raises a smile and that speaks of premium quality.
Turning the functional
Victorinox, founded in the 1890s and run by the same family today, has long been seen as a reliable, functional and quintessentially “Swiss” brand, steeped in history and craftsmanship.
Over the years, however, its product range has grown to include watches, travel gear and fragrance, and it is very much a modern, international business.
By the time it came to us, its focus was on being seen as a premium brand. Our task was to help the social media team communicate this with premium content – and in a way more suited to the dynamic environment of social media.
We kicked off our multi-platform content strategy with a deep-dive into Victorinox’s presence on social media. Through stakeholder interviews and desk research, we delved into who the audience was, how we could grow that audience, and worked out which parts of its strategy were working and which weren't.
We found that each Victorinox product category attracts a very distinct audience, and each audience has different interests, uses different social media platforms and consumes different kinds of content.
We also spotted an opportunity for Victorinox to tell really compelling stories, using premium imagery and narrative content. Revealing some of the secrets behind its products, introducing real Victorinox people and engaging closely with the interests of the customer were some of the ways that Victorinox could tell those stories.
An easy way to generate a constant stream of content is to use content pillars. These are themes that support the brand’s positioning and messaging and that can be interpreted differently for each audience, category, location and platform.
What the team now needed were mechanisms for creating diverse premium content around these pillars, so we devised a framework for generating plenty of original, attention-grabbing ideas.
Tying content to occasions such as Mother’s Day is a tried-and-tested technique. We went further, mapping out monthly themes associated with Victorinox products and values (January is healthy cooking month, October is for foraging and campfires).
And we looked for special days of the year that resonate with the brand. Sustainable Gastronomy Day, for example, is a bountiful source of content ideas as well as being an opportunity for Victorinox to turn the spotlight on its eco credentials. And it ties in neatly with its product categories.
We suggested a post introducing ‘forgotten vegetables’, heritage varieties that were once popular, then fell out of fashion and are now making a return to our dinner plates.
We focused on content that could be delivered in a serial format, where it’s repeated in different variations but following the same ‘recipe’. It’s a handy mechanism for scaling up content generation.
An example was ‘Against the Clock’, a series of short, fun videos showing members of the team attempting a different challenge: peeling a potato in 30 seconds, packing a suitcase in one minute, carving a watermelon, and so on. And, of course, Victorinox products would be the stars of the show.
Social media is the perfect platform for engaging directly with the customer by encouraging user-generated content. We suggested some ideas for quizzes and quests, which could also be tied into special days or monthly themes as well as product categories.
As an alternative to ‘hunt the Easter egg’, for example, we asked the audience to spot the Victorinox product in an image. And we asked them to post their most stylish photos of themselves wearing their ‘Sunday best’ Victorinox watch.
Behind-the-scenes content is always a winner when it comes to engaging the audience. This could be interviews with product designers or sustainability experts, or quick Q&As with employees asking light-hearted questions such as "What would be your desert island Victorinox product?”.
It’s a chance to show the human side of the brand and lends itself to a series format, so lots of content from one idea.
AI image and copy generators open up all kinds of content possibilities – there is, almost literally, no limit to what you can do. We suggested ways to Victorinox in which tools such as Dall-ee and Midjourney can act as helpful sidekicks for the content team.
We asked AI to come up with a reinterpretation of the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, and thus the Swiss Army 24/7 shop, the Swiss Army service point, and the Swiss Army crocodile were born.
And we played around with story-telling with AI visuals, prompting it to create a land where the mountains are made entirely of cheese, where the Victorinox cheese knife goes on its adventures and finds true romance. All slightly surreal, but all meeting the brief of “humorous and original”.
art of content
Thanks to our close collaboration, Victorinox not only has lots of great ideas for content, but it has the tools for generating more ideas for a long time to come.
The content that Victorinox now produces is engaging, dynamic and original. The Victorinox we see on social media is definitely a premium brand – and just the right kind of fun.